Testing for Sioux Falls MSA sees notable drop-in rate of positive COVID-19 testing


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — We received an update Tuesday on Sioux Falls’ efforts against COVID-19; City of Sioux Falls Public Health Director Jill Franken had positive information to share Tuesday afternoon at the City Council’s informational meeting. Testing for Minnehaha, Lincoln, McCook and Turner Counties (the Sioux Falls metropolitan statistical area) has seen a notable drop in rate of positive testing.

“The positivity rate then is the number of positives against all tests that are done, and you want that to be around no more than 10 to 12%,” Franken said.

At the end of April, it was at 22%. By the end of June, it had dropped to about 5%.

“We’ve been fortunate that in the last weeks we have been maintaining a really nice positivity rate, and that’s one of the things that tells you you’re doing enough tests in the community to pick up the positives that you need to be picking up, so you have to be doing enough total tests to really know you’re grabbing positives to be able to maintain control of the spread of illness in your community,” Franken said.

Franken also highlights charts that show confirmed cases of COVID-19 and COVID-19 deaths across the state by age. The age bracket with the most confirmed cases in South Dakota is 30 to 39, but the 80 or older age group has far and away seen the most deaths.

“The charts you’re giving us are great for the big picture, but what do you look for on a day-to-day basis that might spur us into action again on the COVID?” councilor Curt Soehl said.

“Sure, well, in addition to looking at our dashboard every single day, we’re really looking at what’s happening around us as well, and that’s why knowing what’s happening in western Minnesota, northwest Iowa, northeast Nebraska, west river, what’s going on around us,” Franken said.

Connectivity means spread is possible.

“We’re not in an island, and those folks that are in those small communities around us are coming in to Sioux Falls to spend time, spend money, find things to do, and so we want to make sure we’re paying attention to that as well,” Franken said.

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